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Totally Looks Like: LEI’s Jim Womack & Skinny Santa

Totally Looks Like: LEI’s Jim Womack & Skinny Santa

Friday, I shared my song “Gemba Claus is Comin’ to Town” and I thought I was done posting for the year. But, my wife and I were watching a recording of the old “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Raindeer” special. We couldn’t help noticing that the show has a lot of awful themes — for example, there’s a […]

By December 22, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Happy Holidays from Mark Graban & LeanBlog.org – A Song & Some Memes

Happy Holidays from Mark Graban & LeanBlog.org – A Song & Some Memes

2014 has been a busy and exciting year. I’ve been very blessed. I’ve worked with great people and have learned so much. I have still barely scratched the surface in sharing stories from my recent trip to Japan. I’ve been on the road more than I would have wanted here in December, which has put […]

By December 19, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
What Anthony Bourdain Says is Must See TV and it Could Apply to the Practice of Kaizen

What Anthony Bourdain Says is Must See TV and it Could Apply to the Practice of Kaizen

Today’s post is something I wrote for the KaiNexus blog that was posted yesterday: Anthony Bourdain on Continuous Improvement: Be “Less Awful Every Day” I loved this short clip of Bourdain being interviewed on the Charlie Rose program, talking about doing something new and trying to get better every day. That’s Kaizen. That’s what the […]

By December 18, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
What’s Up With Neckties in Healthcare?

What’s Up With Neckties in Healthcare?

It’s a simple question: what’s up with so many men wearing ties in healthcare? Are you / they wearing them because you like to, want to, or have to? When I worked at a video game and computer software store in high school, I had to wear a shirt and tie. This was the era […]

By December 17, 2014 11 Comments Read More →
Video: The Culture is Staff Input; Info & Survey About a Class on Kaizen at Franciscan St. Francis Health

Video: The Culture is Staff Input; Info & Survey About a Class on Kaizen at Franciscan St. Francis Health

Here’s the latest in our series of videos about Kaizen and a culture of continuous improvement at Franciscan St. Francis Health in Indianapolis. Scroll down in this post for a survey that Joe Swartz and I are doing about a workshop / class we are going to hold on site this spring in Indianapolis. The staff […]

By December 16, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Bringing Me Problems is OK, We’ll Find Solutions Together

Bringing Me Problems is OK, We’ll Find Solutions Together

It’s a bit of a modern management cliché to say “Don’t bring problems! Bring me solutions!” I think what that means is “Don’t just complain! Think about improving things!” It’s good to think about improvement, but sometimes (if not often!) that improvement process starts by identifying problems. In a “Kaizen” process in a team, I […]

By December 15, 2014 3 Comments Read More →
Scheduling Time for Breaks, Lunch, and Kaizen

Scheduling Time for Breaks, Lunch, and Kaizen

Call me old fashioned, but I figure any employee who works a full day deserves proper breaks, including a lunch break. This is true for nurses who work ten hour shifts. And, it’s especially true for the 65% of nurses who have worked a 12 or 13-hour shift. Many studies show that fatigue and errors […]

By December 12, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
LeBron James is Building a Winning Team by Letting Them Lose – When Should We Do the Same?

LeBron James is Building a Winning Team by Letting Them Lose – When Should We Do the Same?

After being at the Lean Startup Conference the last two years (giving this talk in 2012 and speaking last year on Kaizen), I’m not there this year, unfortunately. I’m also not at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement forum (why are there often two great events the same week?). I’m working with a hospital client this week, which is a […]

By December 11, 2014 2 Comments Read More →
Businessweek Article on Employee Ideas

Businessweek Article on Employee Ideas

This Bloomberg Businessweek article caught my eye: “How to Get More Respect From Your Boss With Less Work.” It’s a misleading headline, almost as if it was associated with the wrong article, somehow. But, it’s an interesting read anyway. Researchers looked at 5,000 employees in an Asian IT company and found: “…newer workers may have […]

By December 10, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
A Hotel, Time Quotas, Systemic Problems, and Employees Not Having the Right Tools

A Hotel, Time Quotas, Systemic Problems, and Employees Not Having the Right Tools

I travel a lot and, thanks to my work, I’m pretty well attuned to the idea of not blaming individuals for systemic problems in an organization. Or, at least I try to be good about this. I’m human, so I slip up sometimes… like the time I wrongly blamed a bartender for a bad attitude, […]

By December 9, 2014 5 Comments Read More →
Good Ideas, Lean Ideas, Keep Crossing the Pacific

Good Ideas, Lean Ideas, Keep Crossing the Pacific

The ideas, principles, and methods that we’d recognize as “Lean” aren’t exclusively of Japanese origin. Many of us, myself included, draw inspiration from Toyota, reading books about them and visiting their factories. For me, I’ve had a chance to visit Toyota plants in Japan, California, and Texas, and the story is very consistent. As Masaaki […]

By December 8, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
10% Discount Code — Upcoming Class in January with Jim Benson – Personal Kanban & Kaizen

10% Discount Code — Upcoming Class in January with Jim Benson – Personal Kanban & Kaizen

I’m happy to be partnering up again with my friend and fellow contrarian rabble-rouser Jim Benson to do a full-day workshop on Lean for knowledge work settings. It’s going to be held in San Francisco on Thursday, January 29. Learn more and register – Save 10% using discount code “leanblog” In the morning, Jim will enthrall you […]

By December 4, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
Words vs. Simple Visuals; A Secret About Japanese Hospitals

Words vs. Simple Visuals; A Secret About Japanese Hospitals

This tweet and photo made me chuckle the other day… If it’s “your right” or “your left” as you’re going up or down the stairs, collisions are going to happen if everybody followed these instructions: No, it won't. pic.twitter.com/2iJ3POnrDB — Nille af Ekenstam (@nilrod) November 27, 2014 In Japan, during our recent tour, I saw […]

By December 3, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
How Engaging Everyone in Kaizen Saves this Hospital Leader Time Lots of Time

How Engaging Everyone in Kaizen Saves this Hospital Leader Time Lots of Time

A few weeks back, I posted the first new video from my Healthcare Kaizen co-author‘s health system: “Endoscopy Nurses are “Kaizen Crazy” at Franciscan St. Francis Health!” Today’s post includes the second video and, as I add new ones, you can view the whole series here on the blog or via a YouTube playlist. In this […]

By December 2, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
The Kaizen Approach to Getting Others Comfortable with Sushi

The Kaizen Approach to Getting Others Comfortable with Sushi

I’ll be blogging a lot more about my recent trip to Japan with Kaizen Institute, including the site visits and our lessons learned. I had a few days of tourist / vacation time in Tokyo before and after the trip, which included getting to spend some time with a college friend who is currently doing […]

By December 1, 2014 1 Comments Read More →
Reflections: If I Hadn’t Moved From Lean Manufacturing to Lean Healthcare

Reflections: If I Hadn’t Moved From Lean Manufacturing to Lean Healthcare

I just got back from Japan last night and I’m going to take it easy during this Thanksgiving week. Rest and family time are high priorities, of course, as I’m sure they are for many of you. I will be reflecting a lot on my trip and I’ll be writing more posts about the trip […]

By November 24, 2014 4 Comments Read More →
Is “The Jerk” Good at Problem Solving?

Is “The Jerk” Good at Problem Solving?

Four years ago, I parodied the style of GEICO commercial that they were running at the time with a “did you know that Steve Martin’s character from The Jerk was bad at 5S?” The other day, I was thinking about the scene in the movie where Navin R. Johnson (Martin’s character) was working at a […]

By November 21, 2014 0 Comments Read More →
“Quality Circles” Are Alive & Well in Japanese Organizations; We Might Call it A3 Problem Solving

“Quality Circles” Are Alive & Well in Japanese Organizations; We Might Call it A3 Problem Solving

One question I was asked to ask during my Japan trip was to see if “Quality Circles” are still active in Japanese companies. I think the term was brought to the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s, but generally wasn’t widely adopted for a number of reasons – probably due to management mindsets and organizational […]

By November 20, 2014 4 Comments Read More →